The Hello San Pedro Podcast is a local podcast about San Pedro, California and the community that lives and thrives here, hosted by Amanda Silva. On this podcast we focus on the people, talking to a new local person of interest each week and listening their story, their relation to San Pedro and discussing a broad variety of topics all relevant to this Los Angeles port town.
More places to listen
The Hello San Pedro Podcast is a local podcast about San Pedro, California and the community that lives and thrives here, hosted by Amanda Silva. On this podcast we focus on the people, talking to a new local person of interest each week and listening their story, their relation to San Pedro and discussing a broad variety of topics all relevant to this Los Angeles port town.
In today's episode I sit down with Lee Williams who serves as Chairman of the Board for the San Pedro Chamber of Commerce. We talk about everything San Pedro, including the development of the waterfront, Little Italy, local Real Estate and last but most importantly improving the quality of life for San Pedrans. He also spills some juicy tea, not once but twice! I love Lee and his fiance Sara and enjoy running into them all over town.
I hope you enjoy my conversation with Lee! Be sure to say hello to him if you see him in the community!
San Pedro Chamber of Commerce
PBID - Waterfront Development
Lee as a Realtor
Mental Health Awareness Day recently passed and I was not about to let it go unnoticed. It's important to shed light on mental health and reduce the stigma around seeing a therapist. To help me do this, in todays episode I've asked Dr. Cora Ramirez-Vasquez, a local family therapist, to join me in today's episode and share her wisdom.
Hope you enjoy and please share with a friend!
Dr. Cora Ramirez-Vasquez
MA, LMFT, ATR, Psy.D
520 W. 8th Street
San Pedro, CA 90731
Beware this episode will make you hungry! Today my guests are Kristin Colossus-Rodriguez and her husband Nick Rodriguez, co-owners of Colossus, a new bread and pastry shop right next door to the Chori-Man. Cohosting this episode with me is Marissa Haney, childhood BFF, former Pedro girl and pastry chef. Marissa actually put me in touch with Colossus via instagram a few months before they opened shop. The excitement has been building and the deliciousness was worth the wait.
Listen to Kristin and Nick share their story of how they met, what led them to start their own business and why they chose San Pedro for their brick and mortar location.
Colossus on Instagram
Co-host Marissa on Instagram
Woo! It's been a full year of the Hello San Pedro podcast! It's an exciting time to be a San Pedran. This year has a lot in store for us and I can't wait to talk about it on the show.
Today's guests are past and present Honorary Mayors of San Pedro, Domenic Costa and Pam Costa.
Coach Domenic Costa's Instagram
Pam's Event Instagram
Pam's Event Website
Today on the show I am very excited to share with you my interview with Joshua Stecker, Founder and Editor In Chief of the San Pedro Today magazine as we celebrate it's 10 year anniversary. Our cherished local magazine has informed us and captured the stories of our community. In this episode I sit down with the founder as he shares what led him down this path of journalism and what's so special about San Pedro. I've been looking forward to this episode for a long time. I hope you all enjoy!
San Pedro Today
Pitch a Story, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
San Pedro Today Instagram
Trying out a new type of episode! Let me know what you think. Direct message me on instagram @hellosppodcast , email me at email@example.com or visit the podcast website www.hellosanpedro.com.
In this episode I do a short recap of the biggest local news headlines to circulate recently.
"Art From The Heart" - Art Show/Benefit
Saturday Sept. 21st, Doors open at 3pm
520 W. 8th Street
San Pedro, CA. 90731
For more info call (310) 519-8231
Tell David Villa you heard about it on the podcast!
Woman Dies After Fall at San Pedro's Sunken City
Vandals Tag Nearly A Dozen San Pedro Homes With Swastikas
Coast Guard ship arrives in San Pedro after seizing 2,800 pounds of cocaine worth $38.5 million
San Pedro’s underground skate park gets cash infusion as supporters push to get it reopened
Breaking Barriers in Ballet: Misty Copeland Set to Receive Trailblazer Award
Hello Season 2! In this new season you can expect more awesome interviews with amazing people who love San Pedro and lots more. Stay tuned for Patreon info where you can support the podcast and sponsorship info if you're interested in becoming a sponsor.
Today's guest is Angela Romero, founder and President of the San Pedro Heritage Museum. I thought it was only fitting to have her start us out on Season 2 since she was my very first guest of the podcast. In this episode she talks about the museum's first commissioned work of art, a statue of famous writer and San Pedro local, Charles Bukowski. The project is still underway and won't be complete until Bukowski's 100'th birthday next year, and in the meantime, the San Pedro Heritage Museum will be working hard to raise the funds for it.
GoFundMe for Bukowski in Bronze
San Pedro Heritage Museum
End of Season 1! Don't worry, I'll get right into Season 2 next week :)
A much anticipated episode, in todays show I have none other than Aiden Garcia-Sheffield, a local community activist originally from Savannah Georgia. He is the Founder and President of Bridge Cities Alliance, the organization responsible for Pride on the Port. He is also the owner of Underground Los Angeles, local barbershop on 6th St in downtown San Pedro. He started out in his early career as a realtor then after the market crash transitioned and became a flight attendant. As a young world traveler with an adventurous attitude toward life and the unexpected, he moved to LA and soon found himself in the South Bay where he discovered our beautiful San Pedro. He now lives here with his husband and is heavily involved in the community.
In today's show he shares his coming out story, how he ended up in San Pedro and why he thought it was important to bring PRIDE to San Pedro. I wanted to thank him publicly for all the work he's done to create love and acceptance for the LGBTQ+ community here.
Bridge Cities Alliance
This episode was prerecorded back in June but I wasn't able to get it out at that time for a lot of personal reasons you can hear about in the previous episode. However, its a great interview with lead singer of the local band The Habits. Wolf Bradley was one of my very first guests on the podcast and the band just released another EP self-titled "The Habits". They just released a music video for one of their latest singles "Thirsty", which you'll hear a bit from in this episode.
We talk about everything from the filming of their music video, to Game of Thrones, to Karaoke, thieir love letter to San Pedro and why they don't fit in the local music scene, and why that's okay. Wolf and I can talk forever but I hope you enjoy our conversation about music, inspiration and lots more.
He mentions an upcoming show but keep in mind it has since already passed. You might've recently heard The Habits on KROQ this past week for their latest single "Casual". If you didn't catch them and you want to show some love please go to KROQ.radio.com and vote for them off of the Locals Only playlist (link below).
VOTE FOR THE HABITS!!! KROQ Locals Only Playlist - Vote for "Casual" by The Habits
Thirsty Music Video
Love Letter To San Pedro
Hey friends, I have a lot to say in this solo episode. I hope you have all been well and I appreciate you for sticking around. In this episode I talk about why I took an unannounced two month break from the podcast and what's been going on in my life. In the second part of this episode I catch up on the recent events including the grand reopening of Sirens Java & Tea (my fave local coffee spot) at their new location as well as the grand opening of a brand-new-to-San-Pedro bakery, Colossus Bread + Pastry. I'm looking forward to being back and I'm ready to get some awesome interviews for you.
In today's episode I sit down with Derek Kissinger to hear how the Harbor BusinessSource Center is creating jobs for our local economy. Ashely Rios, a previous podcast guest and local business owner, joins us also to share her personal experience working with the Business Source Center to open her business Fit Culture Pilates.
Derek oversees the BusinessSource center in San Pedro and this center offers services available to all LA City residents and business owners at no cost. They do their best to tailor their services to the needs of the business owners but their main focus is growth through helping a business owner or entrepreneur access capital. Between the two BusinessSource centers currently in operation (Harbor-Watts and Hollywood) they are on track for roughly $11,000,000 -$12,000,000 in loans funded to their clients in the past year.
Derek Kissinger graduated with a BA in Psychology and Business from the University of Minnesota and went on to earn and MBA from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Derek worked as a Business Consultant for MCS for 3 years and enjoys helping small business owners realize their growth potential. In 2016 Derek became the Program Manager for the MCS BusinessSource Network and in 2018 he was promoted to Economic Development Program Director.
Derek’s focus is to help businesses in need of tools and resources achieve profitability and growth. Through access to capital, managed growth opportunities and targeted new markets, these companies are carefully prepared to become profitable and undergo healthy, sustainable growth, with the ultimate goal of long-term job creation.
Fit Culture Pilates
Fit Culture Pilates Opening Party
8 a.m. - 12 p.m.
1426 West 25th Street
San Pedro, CA 90732
June is PRIDE month and in today's episode Chris Tucker shares why he and his husband chose to leave San Pedro, even after they married here and purchased a home in the community. I offer a public apology to them and all our LGBTQ friends here in town.
While San Pedro is celebrating its first Pride On The Port event ever, our recent history shows that we have not always been kind to our LGBTQ community members. Chris Tucker shares his personal encounters with harassment and homophobia in San Pedro.
A Southern baker at heart, Chris Tucker draws much of his culinary influence from the European style of baking and often time refers to himself as a Southern baker with a French twist. “I believe that European bakers are champions of properly balanced sweets and I aspire daily to be more like the Ottolenghi and Claire Ptak of the pastry world” Carefully crafted with thought and passion, Chris’s menu of perfectly balanced buttercreams slathered atop delicate sponge, crisp biscuits with creamy curd and countless flaky pastries change with the seasons while a few staples are available year-round. When Chris isn’t testing, tasting and tweaking, he can be found inspiring other bakers with his curated online content through his digital platforms and on-camera appearances. In fact, he can be seen on the last season of ABC’s “The Great American Baking Show.” He and his husband married here in San Pedro in September 2017, and even purchased a home here in the community. But soon after they chose to leave the community and in this episode Chris tells us why.
In today's episode I sit down with Amber Sheikh-Ginsberg, a local activist for our homeless community, to talk about the current state of homelessness in San Pedro and what we can expect from upcoming changes.
Before we really get into the interview I ask our community to stop doing this one thing: Stop referring to homeless people with derogatory labels. Let's call them people, allowing us to see them as people which will help us treat them like people. I also take a moment to recognize United Methodist Church for their amazing efforts within the homeless community, specifically their pastor Rev. Lisa Williams.
Amber is a LA-based nonprofit consultant with Thurlow/Associates and San Pedro resident of about a decade. Her clients span the nonprofit field from healthcare to social justice organizations. Prior to becoming a consultant, she worked in homeless services, education, and with social justice organizations. She is currently the Vice Chair of the Coastal San Pedro Neighborhood Council's Homelessness Committee and coordinates the CD15 Working Group on Homelessness. She lives in SP with her husband, Joe, and two young children.
I share a recent encounter I had with a woman that appeared to be lost in my parents neighborhood. She was without shoes, and without any belongings, she looked a bit disheveled and perhaps like she hadn't bathed recently. Amber shares why my reaction to this woman was actually rare and shares some insight on how we can treat others that we encounter who appear to be homeless. We go on to discuss the local shelter coming to the community and what we can expect from it. Amber shares that while it will not house every homeless individual at once, it has the potential to solve our local homelessness crisis overtime by propelling individuals upward. This bridge shelter will provide housing to fifty people experiencing homelessness and provide services to get them into more permanent housing. So the goal is to get people in, give them a fresh start and eventually helping them settle in permanent housing on their own.
Daily Breeze article about United Methodist event
In continuing with the theme of Mental Health Awareness month I sit down with two women who are helping people heal through therapy and sound. Today on the podcast I am joined by Artemis Tegan and Dona Colleen.
Artemis Tegan is a licensed Marriage & Family Therapist. Artemis earned her Bachelors & Masters Degrees in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University, Los Angeles. Artemis has been working in the counseling field for 24 years. Artemis is a Trauma Specialist who is skilled in reducing symptoms associated with trauma, including depression, anxiety, relationship problems and addiction issues. Artemis works with children, adolescents and adults in individual, and family therapy using the latest research & practice informed treatment interventions. Artemis is trained in Somatic Psychotherapy, EMDR, Clinical Hypnosis, Mindfulness, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Pet-Assisted Therapy, & Attachment Informed Therapy.
Dona Colleen has been a successful business owner in the city of San Pedro for over 15 years. Dona’s highly inquisitive mind & natural gifts as an intuitive healer drew her to the healing arts many years ago. Over the last 20 years Dona has immersed herself in the studying of Hypnosis and is a Certified Hypnosis Therapist. She is also a Reiki Master and more recently, took an extensive training in Sound Therapy, through the Vibrational Sound Association.
Together their practices work hand in hand with each other and often treat the same patients. They share their expertise and experience in this episode along with tips to make sure we are taking care of our own mental health.
Teen Support Group - Every Friday starting May 24th/4-5pm ($25 without insurance)
Group Sound Bath - Once a month starting June 2nd/ 4pm -Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
In today's episode I sit down with the President and CEO of the San Pedro Chamber of Commerce, Elise Swanson, to talk about all things small business. We discuss the needs of the local small business community, the challenges they face and what she envisions for the future.
Elise Swanson is the President and CEO of the San Pedro Chamber of Commerce and represents more than 400 businesses and organizations. She has served as the District Director for U.S. Rep. Janice Hahn while she was in Congress and has over 30 years of experience in economic development, small business development, fundraising, planning and outreach. Elise has also worked for the cities of Whittier and Santa Ana but now lives and works locally here in San Pedro.
San Pedro Chamber of Commerce
In honor of Mental Health Awareness month I really wanted to shed light on the issues which is why this week's episode I sit down with local Mental Health Advocate Rudy Caseres.
Rudy Caseres is an award-winning mental health advocate, public speaker, and event producer. He has traveled the country delivering keynote presentations, worked with organizations such as the American Association of Suicidology, This is My Brave, Mental Health America, and the National Alliance on Mental Illness, and has hosted various storytelling events at The Garden Church and the Warner Grand Theatre. He was named one of The Mighty’s Mental Health Heroes of 2017 and hosts a Facebook Live interview show for them every month. Rudy currently serves as a board member of the Coastal San Pedro Neighborhood Council and is their Homelessness Liaison. He is also currently a candidate for San Pedro Honorary Mayor and you can still contribute to his campaign.
Together we discuss what so many have wrong about mental health. For example the fact that mental health is something that affects us all and that people aren't necessarily mentally ill and mentally well, there are many "in-betweens". It's a spectrum that everyone is on. Rudy would like to see less binary definitions in the mental health world, where we put people into two categories; well and not well. He shares some personal stories and experiences he's had struggling with suicidal thoughts as many have. One of things we talk most about is how we can reduce the stigma around mental health. He thinks that giving resources and funding to peer-to-peer groups and advocates are one of the most impacting things we can do as a community. Often large organizations approach mental health struggles from an outside perspective, whereas peer-to-peer methods really come from the stand point of "we're in it together".
Rudy on Facebook
In this week's episode I sit down with Ashley Rios, young entrepreneur and owner of Fit Culture Pilates.
Ashley Rios and I hit it off really well in this episode and we talked a lot. We talked about really important realities of being a millennial such as facing student loan debt, choosing money over passion and experiencing a quarter life crisis.
Having an education in fashion and experience in the fashion industry as a fashion designer, Ashley found herself stressed and in pain. She discovered that she was having sever back issues and sought out pilates as a means to heal and strengthen herself. Pilates soon became her ritual and now her passion. After years of enduring a toxic working environment in the fashion industry she also found herself a victim to sexual harassment which led her on a healing journey and resulted in seed money for her business. She spent a year traveling and found peace after attending many health and fitness retreats.
A local girl, raised in San Pedro, she decided that her next adventure would be as an entrepreneur. She chose to pursue her passion for fitness, specifically pilates, here in San Pedro. Her pilates studio is set to open this month (May 2019) and is set to be the only pilates studio in town. She tells us about her journey to getting a business location and finalizing the details of her new venture.
Be sure to check out the links in the show notes.
Fit Culture Pilates
Fit Culture on Instagram
In today's episode I sit with Green Girl Farms founder Lara Hughey and local fruit trader Army Linderborg to talk about their project idea to start a local community public orchard here in San Pedro.
Read the full show notes at https://www.hellosanpedro.com/episodes/e30-green-girl-farms-a-san-pedro-public-w--lara-hughey-army-linderborg
Green Girl Farms Calendar
Weekly Produce Stand @ our location 390 W. 14th St. from 9am to 11am, Wednesdays
Monthly Produce Stand on the Second Saturday of the Month @ The Corner Store, located at 1118 W. 37th St. from 10am to 12pm
Volunteer Time: Wednesdays from 8:15am to 11:30am, & The Second Saturday of the month from 7:30am to 9:30am, @ our location 390 W. 14th St.
UPCOMING EVENT: Farm To Table Meets Artisan Chorizo Fundraising Dinner With The Chori-Man. This event is part of Chori-Man Humberto Raygoza’s campaign for Honorary Mayor of San Pedro. We are honored to be providing our fresh locally grown produce for this Dinner. Proceeds to benefit Green Girl Farms and San Pedro Meals On Wheels. Takes Place May 18 at Angel’s Gate Cultural Center, Building H. Starts at 5pm. Tickets: $55
A note from Lara:
My name is Lara Hughey,
I am the founder of Green Girl Farms. I grow food and educate my community in how to grow food. Green Girl Farms is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization in San Pedro.
We are leading the effort to build an environmentally sound and socially just food system in our community.
We’re a volunteer-powered organization with an annual operating budget of less than $20,000.
We create opportunities for the community to engage with growing food and the outdoors.
We are building a local food system in our community. San Pedro is comprised of many different ethnic groups that all have a tradition of growing food and community together. And that has been lost over the years. We are bringing that tradition back. We grow food in a sustainable manner In empty lots and unused spaces. We make the food available in the communities in which it’s grown through produce stands and donations. We educate the public in ways to grow food in an environmentally friendly manner. We do that through workshops, classes, and special events.
In 2015 I founded Green Girl Farms in order to continue to create positive social change through edible gardening, on a larger scale.....
Read Lara's full bio at https://www.hellosanpedro.com/episodes/e30-green-girl-farms-a-san-pedro-public-w--lara-hughey-army-linderborg
Farm To Table Event with The Chori-Man
VOTE HERE FOR THE PUBLIC ORCHARD!
In this week's episode I sit down with Paul Bobadilla and his wife Christina to talk about their new local business, a coffee pop-up.
Before I get to the conversation part of this episode, I first announce the winner of our Instagram giveaway. Badfish hooked us up with a lot of merch and to celebrate our reaching over 500 followers on Instagram, we decided to do an Instagram giveaway. The winner announced was @danikristino!!! Congrats! [You will receive a message via Instagram and details of how to claim your merch will be detailed].
Almost exactly two years ago, on Easter weekend in 2017, Paul Bobadilla and his wife Christina started their coffee pop up out of their garage, originally with the goal to meet their neighbors and bring their immediately community closer together. They have continued to uphold that mission along with providing a premium cup of coffee to all their customers. Since then they have grown and now serve coffee at a variety of pop-up locations all over San Pedro.
Paul on treating our homeless neighbors with respect :
"As we are living and doing life and doing business in the streets... how do we continually acknowledge these people that we see? ...We have to remind one another that they have a lot of value."
A lot of care and consideration is put into each cup of coffee that's made. The acronym "CBC" at the end of the Trinity name can roughly be summed up to these three words: "coffee", "brew" and "culture". These things are not overlooked by Paul in the process of making a good cup of coffee for his customers. He makes sure that the coffee he chooses is ethically sourced from farms that pay their harvesters fair wages. The brewing processes is just as important as the choice and source of coffee. Paul uses a pour-over device to make every cup and will eventually look into the cold-brewing process for iced coffee drinkers. Finally the aspect of culture and community are part of the Trinity CBC brand. Its not a fast cup on the go, it's intended to be enjoyed with conversation.
We also discuss how small business can keep in mind the social good they want their businesses to be a part of from early stage. Even in the start-up phase, him and his wife consider how they want to make their San Pedro community a better place.
Trinity CBC on Instagram
In this week's episode I sit down and chat with Carolina Brown, owner of Rok 'n' Ell Baby Boutique. We discuss her small business journey and what it's like to have a small business at Weymouth Corners.
In the beginning of this episode I make a couple announcements related to our sponsor Badfish. The first is really only a reminder to use the code "HelloSP" which will get you 10% off your next Badfish purchase. It's been brought to my attention that a few people have mentioned the podcast and mentioned that they heard that Badfish was the official carrier of all Three Eyed Fish merchandise, but haven't been using the podcasts promo code - gotta use the code to get the discount! . The second is that I will be doing a Badfish giveaway on my instagram. So be sure to follow the podcast's instagram (@hellosppodcast) if you haven't already. I also talk about the cover of the April issue of the San Pedro Today magazine as it features our local icon the Three Eyed Fish, an image that Badfish owns the exclusive copyright to. This cover story features an interview with the original artist of the Three Eyed Fish and his motivation to paint it.
Carolina was born and raised in San Pedro and has been a teacher within the community for many years. After her daughter gave birth to Roko and Elliot, she decided to start a baby boutique named Rok 'n' Ell. Carolina and her husband now own the charming boutique located at beautiful Weymouth Corners. She shares how overwhelming it was at first to own a business but her and her husband quickly got the hang of it and have been consistently growing in business ever since. Carolina also shares what it was like growing up in San Pedro.
Carolina on growing up in San Pedro:
"'Oh it was wonderful. As a child I loved San Pedro. I remember traveling around town on the bus, my mother didn't drive, both my parents were from Italy, and Beacon Street at that time was pretty bad and I remember specifically telling my mother that when I grew up I was going to be the mayor of San Pedro and clean things up."
We do discuss some of her shop's biggest challenges and one of them is online shopping. She had initiated an effort to sell online and actually made it available for one year but after extremely low online sales she decided to pull back her online inventory. It's apparent that she has strong feelings about local consumer's pride in shopping at major online retailers and she compares it to leaving trash on the floor. What I took from this comparison was that she sees online shopping as a direct effort to not take care of our "home" or community. I share my concerns in this matter as well. We address these issues and talk about what it could mean for our small business community.
Carolina describing the "essence" of San Pedro :
"'It's a working class community. It's not just a bedroom community. People don't all work in LA, they live and work here, you know, because of the port and the waterfront. And that started with the fishermen and the canneries... San Pedro is unique in that, in that we live and work here, so I'm very proud of that."
Carolina shares her excitement for the changes coming to the waterfront and may even consider starting something in the downtown area.
Sponsored by Badfish & Cryptospace
In today's episode I bring back my favorite repeat guest, Angela "Romee" Romero, to celebrate her recent honor of being recognized by the San Pedro Chamber of Commerce and to talk about her recent endeavors, including the San Pedro Heritage Museum, its first major project "San Pedro Built" and her small business, Townee Tours.
Romee, who has been a guest before, joins me yet again to update us on some very big news (if you aren't familiar with her yet, please refer to episode 1 and 15). She shares with us that the San Pedro Heritage Museum, a museum she's founding and laying the groundwork for, is in its beginning stages of becoming a non-profit. Even though it has not achieved this status just yet, she is not letting it stop her from continuing her important work of discovering San Pedro's history. That is why she is heading up the museum's first major project: "San Pedro Built".
She begins to describe "San Pedro Built" and why she has chosen this as the museum's first project. Rome tells us the encounters she has while at the archives that she has with people in the community wanting to learn more about their family home, and seeking more information from the local archives. Unfortunately, not every residential home or commercial property has been documented over the years so this project is to do just that, document the changes of San Pedro's homes and buildings over the decades. This will take the entire community's help and will continue to be an ongoing project for years to come. She announces upcoming events at which she will be available to scan photos from the photo albums of local families in the area who want to contribute their memories to the San Pedro Heritage Museum.
Romee on finding SP's history :
"'The cool thing is that a lot of Pedro people are still around, they have pictures from their grandparents, and we can crowdsource that stuff."
In the second half of the episode Romee switches gears and shares with us her upcoming events for her business Townee Tours, a tour business she started in 2011. She shares about why she started Townee Tours, and the encouragement she received from her mother who passed away a few months earlier. Romee tells us about her rough start to the business and how it took a really long time for it to catch on and be known in the community as the "tour lady". In 2017 she decided to start her tours back up with a different tour every month. Now she is offering 4-5 different tours on a weekly basis at the request of the SP Chamber of Commerce.
Romee wants to make sure that as she pursues both these endeavors (the museum and her tour business) that she draws a clear distinction between the two.
San Pedro Built event:
History Behind SP Street Names / Photo scanning event
San Pedro Library / April 7th 2pm
San Pedro Heritage Museum Website
On today's episode, I invite a friend and personal finance professional, Christian Lopez, to join me in discussing the topic of money. With the threat of automation on the port and with the middle class getting smaller and smaller everyday, we thought it was time for a serious discussion about money.
Christian Lopez is a local financial professional, business owner and landlord here in San Pedro. At the age of 24 he bought his first home and now him and his wife own a few rental properties and have achieved impressive goals in their personal finance. You might have heard his wife, Stephanie Trevizo-Lopez, in episode 17, in which her and I had discussed the Tiny House movement and real estate investing. Christian and his team have a mission to reduce the local poverty level by 10%. In Christian's episode we focus more on money and the financial strategies that can help the families of the community get ahead. This episode is a general conversation about money but I believe it will be the first of many money related discussions on the podcast.
Christian shares his background in the landscaping business where he really developed his work ethic. He remembers not enjoying his Saturdays like his friends because he had to go to work with his family. After high school he went to a trade school instead of the traditional college route which led him on a path to becoming a Jaguar Technician and eventually a Master Jaguar Technician. When the economy slowed down in 2008 he describes living paycheck to paycheck and watching his paychecks getting smaller. At this point he chose to go back to school and get his Bachelors degree in Project Management.
Christian on achieving financial freedom :
"'If you really want true financial freedom there's three things you got to have and that's some type of real estate (which is income property or things like that), paper assets, and you want to have a business." - Christian Lopez
With the threat of automation on our Ports, with the redevelopment in the area driving up home prices, and with homelessness on the rise, it's kind of a scary time for San Pedrans. Christian and I discuss how to prepare for the worst and make sure our families are taken care of in this time of uncertainty.
Christian's contact info
This week's guest is Ryan Blaney, a local technology lawyer who has started his firm Bolinimi International here in San Pedro and is dedicated to growing San Pedro's local tech hub. He is passionate about helping local entrepreneurs get their ideas off the ground and is also a candidate for SP Honorary Mayor.
Ryan Blaney has been practicing law since 2005 when he gained an LLM in International Intellectual Property Law at the prestigious ESADE School of Law in Barcelona Spain. After working for a large IP firm in Barcelona he relocated to the United States to work for Southern California Edison. In 2018 he left corporate America to start Bolimini International a local law firm that he owns and operates here in San Pedro.
In this episode he talks about his upbringing in both Barcelona and the U.S. and eventually what brought him to San Pedro. His mom fell in love with the town during a visit and built her home here when Ryan was older. He spent time living with her during a period of unemployment in his twenties. After he married, he and his husband lived in Long Beach but when it came time to purchase a home near the beach they found the home prices were unaffordable. His mom encouraged him to search in San Pedro and he has been in love ever since.
In addition to being on the Board of Directors for the San Pedro Chamber of Commerce he is also a candidate for Honorary Mayor. His campaign directly supports the San Pedro Chamber of Commerce, Golden State Pops Orchestra, Bridge City Alliance and H.E.L.P., a local organization that helps animals.
Ryan on moving to San Pedro :
"'Two bridges away, it's a whole different world. Legit - the sky is bluer here... I thinks its magical."
We go on to discuss what it's like to work in the greater Los Angeles area and experience the stigma of living in San Pedro, as if its not relevant. We have both experienced it and would love to see that change but ultimately Ryan says it's not his responsibility to educate the world on San Pedro and we both agree that San Pedro will speak for itself one day.
Ryan on starting his entrepreneurial life in San Pedro :
"On January first I woke up, sent an emailed my boss and said 'I'm done. I'm not coming in', went to Cabrillo, did the Polar Bear plunge to rid myself of all the negative... my life was starting over again."
I was incredibly inspired by Ryan's personal story of what it was like for him to leave his corporate job that he felt was killing his creativity, and begin a new life as a entrepreneur in San Pedro. He loves that he no longer commutes to a day job in the greater Los Angeles area but instead bikes to work down the street from his home everyday. He shares his concerns for the growth of the San Pedro community, hoping that as we expand we don't lose our small town charm and history, but is excited for what the future brings for what will be known as San Pedro's tech hub.
Apple iWatch Commercial
Ryan for Honorary Mayor site
This week's guest is Pam Costa and experienced and successful fundraiser in the San Pedro community, a Leadership Director at POLAHS and wife of current Honorary Mayor title holder, Domenic Costa. Today's episode is the ultimate female inspired episode in honor of women's history month.
In the intro of this episode I take the time to acknowledge a few women that were on the cover of the San Pedro Today magazine in honor of Women's History Month. Though twenty women were highlighted in the feature article, I specifically wanted to shout out the women who have been guests on the podcast. This amazing group of women include Angela Romero (episode 1 & 15), Cindy Bradley (episode 8), Stacy Jackson (episode 19), Julie Bender (episode 4) and last but not least, Mandy Barton (episode 20). I am honored to have these women on the podcast and proud that of the work they are doing in the community.
I also take a moment to speak about the progress women have made in society, but share an incident that happened to me personally in the the local San Pedro facebook group that exemplifies why we still have a long way to go. In the process I shout out a couple of amazing guys, Joshua Stecker, Editor of the San Pedro Magazine, for highlighting these amazing women in the community on the cover of the magazine , and Steve Casares, admin of the SP facebook group, who stepped in and supported me in my experience on the group page.
In this episode I interview the only female candidate in this year's race for Honorary Mayor. Pam grew up in San Pedro, attending Mary Star elementary and high school. Her first experience fundraising in San Pedro was during her run for Mary Star Fiesta Queen when she was in high school. Since then she has continued to raise money for local events and charities within our community.
Pam on raising money locally :
"'It's hard. It's hard work. But people coming out of every corner just wanting to help has been overwhelming to me... its incredible." - Pam Costa
This is the third Honorary Mayor campaign that she's been a part of and her first time as a candidate herself. For her husband's campaign two years ago she was instrumental in raising over $50,000, which was the most that had been raised until that point. She's hoping to beat her previous record.
Pam on her fundraising passion:
" I've always wanted to give back and embrace certain charities that have been important to me." -Pam Costa
She talks about other women that have inspired her and the charities that motivated her in her decision to run for Honorary Mayor. She is speaks highly of the San Pedro community and hopes to see more activities and entertainment venues to come in the downtown area. We aspiringly speak about what it'd be like to have a major venue in San Pedro that could potentially attract huge talents.
Pam Costa is raising money for Maria's Closet, Pedro Pet Pals and Port of Los Angeles High School.
Pam Costa's campaign facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Pam-Mama-Bear-Costa-for-San-Pedro-Honorary-Mayor-1155389651276732/
Pam for Honorary Mayor on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/costa4spmayor/
Maria's Closet https://www.mariasclosets.org/
Pedro Pet Pals https://pedropetpals.com/contact/
This week's guest is George Palaziol, a born and raised San Pedran, an active community member and creator of local Facebook group "Serving San Pedro".
George Palaziol was born and raised in San Pedro. He tells us about what it was like growing up in San Pedro and going through the local private schools as opposed to the public schools, attending Holy Trinity for his primary schooling and Mary Star High School. His family has both strong Italian and Mexican roots so both cultures were proudly represented in his environment. Having grown up here his whole life, he tells us about the small town feel of this community and how everyone knows everyone, characteristics of San Pedro that still hold up today.
George went into the Coast Guard after high school and soon after became a locomotive mechanic, work that he did for over ten years. Now he works with many local business owners and non-profits as a graphic designer, which has become something he truly enjoys.
George on San Pedro's working community :
"'San Pedro is definitely a blue collared town. You can tell when you're here that it is a blue collared town - in a good way. People fight for the local community."
In the second half of the episode I ask him about being on the cover of the local magazine, San Pedro Today, a few years ago. He was honored for starting a local facebook group that has since become controversial, ("Saving San Pedro"). George tells us that he embraces this part of his past and shares that the original reason for starting this group was to address the homelessness crisis that sparked here in San Pedro, specifically, in opposition of tiny homes for the homeless. He has since left the group and distanced himself from it but started another facebook group "Serving San Pedro". This new group, unlike the previous, really focuses on positive things in the community and highlighting organizations that are doing good.
George on staying positive:
" I'm trying not to be a finger pointer now... You gotta be proactive and not just reactive. The constant focus on negativity - it wears on you."
He tells us about the importance of focusing on the positive things in the community. George shares his excitement for the new San Pedro Public Market, which he also admits he will probably continue to call Ports O' Call. He points out that there is so much to look forward to in the coming months and years.
George Paloziol is a candidate for San Pedro Honorary Mayor and is raising money for San Pedro Packages for Patriots, Battleship IOWA Los Angeles, The Moms Club of San Pedro, and The American Legion - Post 61. The first of his events is a "Breakfast for Dinner" event at The Omelette & Waffle Shop that took place this past Tuesday, February 26th. March 16th will be the next major event called "Battleship at the Battleship", details of which will be announced on his website.
George Palaziol's campaign website
George's business website
George's campaign facebook page
This week's guest is Manuel Jimenez, the young owner of Black Knight Patrol, a local private security company. At 25 he has accomplished a lot and now he's running for Honorary Mayor.
This episode starts off with me reading two great reviews that the podcast has received this year. I also encourage everyone who hasn't rated the podcast on iTunes to do so and leave a review. This really helps out the show in the long term.
Manuel Jimenez was born and raised in San Pedro. He is a proud alumnus of 15th Street Elementary School, Dana Middle School, and San Pedro High School Police Academy Magnet, where he was elected Senior Class President. Manuel enrolled in the LAPD Harbor Division Cadet program, at the age of 14 and continued the program until the age of 18. He enlisted into the US Marine Corps and was an active member o the reserve component. He is currently the owner of Black Knight Patrol, a local private security company based in San Pedro.
Manuel shares with us that after he graduated from high school he went on to continue his schooling at LA Harbor College where he graduated with his AA degree. He then decided that college wasn't for him. He joined the United States Marine Corps instead and reflects on his time with them positively. But soon after, he pursued his dream of becoming a police officer and joined the police academy. When the time came to take the test he failed twice and had to meet with high ranking officers who were the decision makers for his fate in the police force. Unfortunately, this conversation did not go well.
Manny on his reaction to being sent home from the Police Academy :
"At twenty-one, first of all, getting fired for the first time, and hearing that from an executive at a law enforcement agency, it destroyed me.... I just thought, 'You know what, I'm just going to take that for face value. Everything happens for a reason.' ''
Though he was initially devastated, that didn't stop him from pursuing his dream. He shares about his time working various security jobs which inspired him to start Black Knight Patrol. He credits his amazing employees to Black Knight Patrol's success thus far.
Manuel on the early years of Black Knight Patrol:
" I was working a lot. So I was working my normal job and I was going out on patrol at night... But I think it's totally worth it."
He actively hires diverse employees and veterans. He is currently graduating from the police academy this week and will continued to work toward his goal of becoming a law enforcement officer. He is running for honorary mayor and his campaign is raising money fro LAPD Harbor Division Cadet Program, Clean San Pedro, and Sharefest.
Msnny's 's Instagram
Today's guest is Rudy Caseres, an award winning mental health advocate born and raised in San Pedro. He shares his own mental health journey and gives advice to those struggling with mental health, depression and or suicidal thoughts.
In the beginning of the episode, because it also happens to be Valentines day (!!!), I go over some suggestions made by listeners on instagram for the best date spots in San Pedro as well as the most romantic things to do locally.
Rudy Caseres is a San Pedro local who has dedicated his life to helping those who suffer from mental illnesses, depression or suicidal thoughts by sharing his own journey to mental health. In addition to all this he is also running for honorary mayor, raising money for San Pedro Meals On Wheels, Feed & Be Fed and Animals Rule Rescue.
Rudy tells us about his upbringing as a child and some of the thing that made him different than others since he was young. He talks about being bullied and feeling like he was always the odd man out. He shares his experience in the army and how it affected his mental health. Rudy's time in the army only lasted eight months and was not a pleasant experience. He describes the aftermath that would eventually follow and the path that took him on in his mental health journey.
Rudy about the beginning of his own mental health journey :
"I always had a rough childhood and it was very hard for me to find meaning in my life. I always felt like I was a loser, I would get bullied and get called all these names. I had body image issues ... and healthy adulthood, that did not make.''
Rudy found purpose in sharing his story and soon became a traveling public speaker encouraging others who have struggled with their own mental health issues to reach out to a supportive community. He works closely with the Garden Church in downtown San Pedro to reach those in need which is why he puts on story telling events for the community.
Rudy's advice to people struggling with depression:
" If your friends or your family are not getting it, or are hostile toward you; there's a lot of emotional abuse that goes on just because there's so much ignorance - there are people out there who do get it ... You have this wide world online that you can connect with. There is hope beyond San Pedro."
Rudy on Facebook
In today's episode we get to hear first hand from Humberto Raygoza, AKA The Chori-Man, and his business partner, Mandy Barton, how he became LA's number one chorizo maker.
Together they run The Chori-Man, a local chorizo deli located on 24th and Alma St.
Humberto was originally in the medical field when he became known amongst his peers for always eating beans for lunch. There was nothing extraordinary about his routine until one day his co-worker wanted to try some. This was the beginning. The beans were cooked with homemade chorizo from his family's traditional southern Mexican recipe. It was a matter of time before he quit his job as a medical professional to become what he called a "chorizo man".
Humberto on leaving his job to become the "chorizo man" :
"I came home one day from school and I was like ' you know I don't think this is for me. I don't want to do this anymore'. So I call my dad and was like 'Yo, can I get the chorizo recipe' and he says 'Yeah. You going to have a barbecue?' and I was like, 'Nope!I'm gonna become the chorizo-man.'"
After a few a few wholesale deals between local restaurants and the deli he was working at at the time, he was starting to get known in the area. One day he was a approached by a man who later described his chorizo purchase much like a drug deal on the corner. It was this purchase and the fine chorizo that inspired this man, a writer for LA Weekly, to write about LA's "Best Secret Chorizo".
Mandy on meeting The Chori-Man:
" I live in Pedro, and in 2015 I discovered him at Crafted. I'd never eaten chorizo before ... It became my Sunday ritual. I'd go to the farmers market and I'd go to the Chori-Man."
The Chori-Man plans to expand to it's second location in the near future and it's third location at the San Pedro Public Market after it's completion. Humberto is also a candidate for San Pedro's Honorary Mayor. His business is raising money for San Pedro Meals On Wheels and Green Girl Farms.
Best Secret Chrizo
LA's Best Underground Chorizo Maker...
Get to know the Chori-Man
San Pedro's Butcher
The Chori-Man website
The Chori-Man on instagram
Today's episode guest is a local business owner who is passionate about health and wellness and left her career in fashion to open a vegan organic juice shop in San Pedro with the mission of reversing Cancer.
Stacy Jackson, originally from Moreno Valley tells us about how her passion for health and wellness began after she experienced her own transformations with a healthy vegan diet. Her new found passion led her to leave her career as a fashion designer in Downtown Los Angeles and took her to Costa Rica where she worked closely with doctors as an intern chef. When she returned from her eyeopening travels she immediately got to work as a health coach and found herself in a celebrity market. She name-drops a few celebrities she's worked with and helped get into amazing shape.
We discuss the societal norms around health and wellness and the lack of education many of us have on the subject. She took her product to the streets by going to all the local farmers markets in the major beach cities of Los Angeles. It was after a few rounds of farmers markets that she decided that it was time for a brick and mortar shop.
Stacy on setting up shop in San Pedro :
"It's cheap. The place where I moved into, a lot of people will recall, was Jolly Burrito so it was already a restaurant so I did't have to spend that much money to open. "
She shares some of the challenges of opening a business in downtown San Pedro and she listed the number one challenge is getting pedestrian traffic in the area. The best part for her is that she loves the tight knit community that San Pedro has.
Stacy on what she loves about San Pedro:
" In San Pedro its really lovely meeting the community. I think everyone's so tight knit and everyone is so kind here."
In the second half of the episode she shares with us everything her shop has to offer from cold press juices, to blended smoothies, to avocado toast and pre-prepped raw food dishes and much, much, more. She is looking to offer her prepped meals to the surrounding communities and beyond very soon by making her products available for order.
NUDA Juice shop is hosting a garden swap every month, the next one being on Feb. 16th. She is also looking to offer her prepped meals to the surrounding communities and beyond very soon by making her products available for order.
NUDA on instagram
Today's episode guest is a fellow local podcaster with the goal of giving local people of interest a platform to share their passions. Angel tells his story wrapped in humor so this is definitely one of the funniest episodes I've recorded so far.
I heard about Angel's podcast, the LEMeKNOW Podcast, through a mutual guest of our podcasts (Mike Real from episode 6). Angel Lem has been highlighting local people from the Harbor Area and their passions for almost two years now. Our podcasts are similar in that we are both using our platforms to elevate our community. They differ in a few other ways, one worth mentioning is that his podcast is explicit, so while I recommend his podcast, if you are offended by strong language you might not like it. If that's the case, all you really need to know is that he is using his podcast to expose local talent and passion from our community making it a better place.
Angel tells us a little about why he started his podcast and his upbringing, being born in Long Beach, raised in Tijuana and brought back to Wilmington at the age of nine years old. He shares that during his early twenties he wanted to pursue stand-up comedy but no one was giving him a platform so he decided to make one and share the talents of people like him.
Angel on relocating from Tijuana to Wilmington:
"I didn't know anybody. So for a good six months, all we ate was hot dogs... we didn't have a fridge, we didn't have a TV, we slept on the floor... I didn't know English so I didn't go out. "
He makes fun of his elementary school years calling himself "the stinky kid" and describing himself in high school as "not having game". Angel told his story sharing hilarious details that had me laughing.
In sharing about how he stumbled on podcasts, he does tell a very personal and serious story about his battle with depression after his first break up ever. Podcasts were a relief for him and made him laugh after a long period of not laughing. It was this that inspired him to start podcasting.
Angel on getting out of depression:
" I was depressed. I couldn't listen to music. I couldn't watch TV. Somehow I stumbled onto podcasting... It happened to be Comedy Bang Bang, and I clicked on it, I heard an episode and it made me laugh. I hadn't laughed in, like, I don't know for how long. "
I proceed to ask him about his experience as a podcaster and he had a lot of lessons to share with me, some was technical podcasting knowledge and some golden advice about staying positive.
I thoroughly enjoyed recording with Angel Lem and I encourage you all to listen to my episode on his podcast coming soon. I'll be sure to post the link on my instagram as soon as it's available.
Angel Lem's Email: email@example.com
LEMeKNOW Podcast on Soundcloud
LEMeKNOW Podcast on Instagram
In this week's episode Stephanie and I explore the tiny house lifestyle, the possibilities of real estate investing and explore the idea of more people of the community investing in the community.
I give a lengthy intro and do my best to prepare the listeners for the conversation that Stephanie and I are about to have. I discuss the changes we are seeing in our town and the likelihood of lower income families being priced out of the community as home values and rents begin to rise. This displacement goes hand in hand with redevelopments such as the ones we're seeing in our port and in the downtown area. I have an interesting, and somewhat overreaching idea.
Stephanie Tevizo-Lopez is the sister of last week's guest, Stacy Trevizo, owner of Cryptospace. The sisters, both transplants, originally from Rancho Cucamonga have made themselves home in our cozy San Pedro and are loving it. In this episode Stephanie shares not only what it's like to own four tiny houses in town but what its like living in one herself. She and her husband have adjusted to tiny-house living and enjoy the amenities San Pedro's downtown has to offer.
Stephanie on what she loves about San Pedro:
"I can walk a couple blocks, I'll see either my tenant or I'll see someone I know who lives around here and I love that. Having never grown up somewhere like that, it seems so cool. It feels like a small town but you're in Los Angeles still, technically."
Stephanie studied design at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (also my alma mater), and started her career in the real estate and development industry as a real estate agent. Since then she has also become a real estate investor herself. She shares what it's like to be a landlord in San Pedro.
In the second half of the episode, Stephanie shares with us her passion for helping others become real estate investors themselves, especially those who aren't trying to be real estate tycoons but rather are seeking financial stability for their families and futures.
Stacy on real estate investing for newbies:
" It's actually very easy to buy one property and it change the whole path of your life. It can definitely set you up for, if not financial freedom, at least a means for covering expenses in retirement or maybe taking an early retirement, and I really like that."
We discuss the idea of investing in San Pedro and what that could mean for the community and ultimately how it will affect our future here.
Stephanie Trevizo's Real Estate Agent profile
Our guest in this week's episode is also our sponsor! Meet the owner of our local crypto currency lounge Cryptospace located in downtown San Pedro.
In the beginning of this episode I update our listeners on the LAUSD Teacher Strike that was originally supposed to take place today starting January 10th. I reached out to Jennifer McAfee from Episode 13 for an update and she informed us that the strike was pushed to the 14th. She also wanted to thank the San Pedro community for being so incredibly supportive.
Today on the show I sit down with a local business owner and not to mention one of our sponsors, Stacy Trevizo, owner of Cryptospace in downtown San Pedro. She shares her journey to discovering her passion for the digital currency and what brought her to San Pedro.
Stacy on what cryptocurrency is:
"Its a digital currency that is really not controlled by anybody. Its a technology and it's just out there, there's no owner, and the masses really decide what the value is and what's going to happen with it... It runs on the block chain."
Stacy goes on to explain what the block chain is and though is a little complicated she doesn't shy away from it. She shares some of the reasons that people are really into bitcoin which includes some freedom aspects as well as other reasons that could possibly be a solution to many global issues. Stacy sheds light on how big the cryptocurrency industry is and why we should all learn more.
She shares why she fell in love with San Pedro and why she felt drawn to it for her business. Stacy loves the small tight knit community that she senses here and the slower pace of our downtown area. Living just a couple blocks from her business on 6th and Mesa she is able to ride her bike and rarely uses her car these days.
Stacy on what attracted her and her business partner to San Pedro:
" My sister is here, and I'm a huge Elon Musk nerd so I was like 'what? Space X is right there?!' So that's what attracted us really."
She shares what it's like to own a cryptocurrency lounge in downtown San Pedro. Stacy says many people mistake the lounge as a coffee shop or check out the place thinking its a retail shop of some sort. Often she will wave at people who peek through the glass and encourage them to come in and they shake their head no before they finally walk away. There is a lot of intimidation that surrounds the topic of cryptocurrency and she's hoping to engage the community and help everyone learn more about it.
Our guest from episode one has returned to start us off in the new year! She tells us her personal story and shares her journey to becoming San Pedro's local historian.
You might remember Angela Romero from our very first episode. In that episode she tells us why San Pedro is so special and what makes it different from other cities in LA. In this episode she tells us what led her to become San Pedro's local historian and why its history is in need of preservation.
Angela when I asked if she always loved San Pedro:
"No, I hated San Pedro... I always tell people if I could go back in time and tell myself ... 'Hey you're gonna be a total Pedro nerd' I would just laugh in your face. I dreamed about moving away."
Angela tells us that her love for San Pedro didn't start until after she went to college in Colorado and after she returned to live at the old News Pilot building back way before Sirens occupied it, when it was a bohemian community living space then and she loved it. She was able to experience downtown San Pedro for herself and it wasn't the "scary" place that people warned her it would be. She learned that it had a lot to offer.
She tells us about going to Harbor College after she returned from Colorado and how it led to different jobs at local hardware stores, until she finally ended up at a corporate job in finance. She worked there for several years before she finally got laid off. During her time off and being a self-proclaimed "theater nerd", Angela also volunteered for the Grand Vision Foundation and it was here that she discovered the archives.
Angela after discovering the archives for the first time:
"I had this feeling that I wanted to grab everything that I saw and just throwing it out the window because I felt like San Pedro's history was being held hostage."
Angela's big announcement:
Recently, in October 2018 Angela made a big announcement in her column of the San Pedro Today magazine. She announced that she was going to start the San Pedro Heritage Museum. There is not yet a set location for the museum, and as the the project is in its early stages of becoming a non-profit, the museum will only exist as a series of pop up exhibits and history talks in the near future.
I will make sure to do my best to keep listeners up to date on the latest news regarding the San Pedro Heritage Museum. Full Disclosure: I, Amanda Silva, am personally involved with this project and have taken on the role of Development Coordinator with the San Pedro Heritage Museum.
That's So Pedro on Instagram
San Pedro Heritage Museum
Daily Breeze article regarding the museum
Meet the owner of Sirens Java & Tea, listen to her personal story and how her dream of opening a coffee shop came to fruition.
After she retired from the Los Angeles Sheriffs Department Yolanda Regalado wanted to fulfill a long time dream of hers to open an upscale coffee shop. Since then she has awed us all with her latest entrepreneurial endeavors and is continuing to grow within the community as we speak. She was also the recipient of the 2018 Women of Distinction Award for the 70th District. Join us as we talk about her story and the love that went into building the community hub of Sirens Java & Tea.
Yolanda on growing up in San Pedro":
"Growing up in Pedro was great! ... There were some parts that you didn't go, and you knew that but you felt so comfortable... and everyone knew you, everyone's family knew you. You just felt safe and comfortable here. I did."
Sirens has really become a community gathering place and impressed many of its customers, so much so that 7th street is becoming a point of interest for other local entrepreneurs and residents. She tells us about the challenges she faced in opening Sirens for the first time, from the renovations of the old building interior, to the red tape of the city. She credits her husband and local city officials for believing in her dream and getting her to the finish line.
She explains the meaning behind the name "Sirens". Her dad being a fisherman would share stories of the sirens, in Spanish they're called "sirenas" (mermaids), and that story had always left an impression with her. She also liked the idea that having been a deputy sheriff and her brothers being Fire Firefighters. they also answered the call of the sirens. She called her coffee shop "Sirens" both in memory of her dad and her brother who have both passed away.
Yolanda on her hope for Sirens:
"All I want to do with Sirens coffee is bring you back to basics, have a good cup of coffee, have a conversation. We don't have TVs in here, if you noticed, because we want people to interact. We have artists here, we have dignitaries here, you don't even know who you're sitting next to! Have a conversation, and you'll learn a world of experience from people."
She tells us heartwarming stories of the customers she meets at Sirens and she feels incredibly blessed that her business was received so well by the community.
Their old location on 7th street in the old News Pilot building will be officially closed by the time this episode airs and they will reopen at their new location just up the block in early 2019. I will do my best to keep you posted on all updates, including their grand re-opening and any pop-up shops they may have in the mean time.
Siren's Java & Tea
Hear why LAUSD teachers are ready to strike as early as mid January, 2019 from someone with 20 years of experience as a teacher and sits on the UTLA Board of Directors.
My guest in this episode is born and raised in San Pedro, and a Dodson Middle School English teacher of 20 years, achieving her 20th year this year. She is a representative of her school as an active union member as well as an advisor for the student council class which plans all the activities on campus. She sits on the UTLA Board of Directors where she represents educators of the Harbor Area. Her passion for teaching has shaped her life and led her to become an activist for education.
Jennifer on what teachers are fighting for:
"We need smaller class sizes, we need more nurses, we need more counselors, we need to stop over testing; We need to create environment for our students that are worthy of them.We need to give them the schools they deserve. " - Jennifer McAfee
Jennifer describes the challenges that charter schools bring to the community and explains that they don't serve the original purposes that they were designed to, potentially posing a serious threat to our public education system. She reminds us that the teachers' working conditions are the students' learning conditions, and that the conditions that they are teaching in right now are unacceptable for both the teachers and students.
Jennifer's "thank you" to the community for being supportive:
"I really want to thank our community so much for the support. It means a lot. It means a lot to hear the honking, see the signs... That's what makes San Pedro special is we don't always agree but when we need help or need support, we're there for each other. "- Jennifer McAfee
How we can support the cause:
The best way to help the cause is to do the research and learn about what's going on. Jennifer encourages us to talk to the teachers we know and hear what they have to say about the subject. In the event of the strike, which she sees as likely, they will need our support by providing lunches for students who are in need during the strike.
Jennifer McAfee's Twitter
We Are Public Schools
Siren's Java & Tea
Meet the local makers behind the Mexican culture inspired business, Bueno Designs: The Bueno Sisters, Cristal and Nancy Bueno.
We sat down for delicious hot chocolate at Sirens Java & Tea and talked about the recent local Dia De Los Muertos event in downtown San Pedro. Nancy mentioned how she felt that the Mexican tradition seems to be a little more approachable in recent years. We spent a lot of time talking about how the Disney animated movie "COCO" might've helped with that change as well as the cultural impact the heartwarming movie has had on the Latino community.
Nancy lives with her husband and kids in San Pedro. Her husband is a longshoreman and she tells me about his early days of longshoring when he was a "casual" and the sacrifice they had to make as a family to prioritize that job. It was something they felt would be best for the family in the long run.
Nancy on why her husband's Longshoreman job was worth the sacrifice:
"When he was casualing, we had to put the job first. So he missed a lot of things, and, you know, it was tough, but it's like, at the end of the day we were getting to the goal of getting him in."
Cristal, on the other hand, does not live in San Pedro but in El Segundo and works in Santa Monica as a graphic designer. Her and I share the turmoils of commuting in Los Angeles. She tell me why it's important for her to start creating outside of her job. It became apparent that she wasn't fulfilled with her job alone and wanted an outlet for her creative ideas. She and her sister also felt passionate about sharing their Mexican culture with everyone.
Cristal on what motivated her to start this business:
"I've always been a creative... I have all these ideas. For me starting this business, it's something that will take my mind off the stress and everything that happens on a day to day basis. "
These sisters are incredibly skilled and creative. Both able to sew and hand bead meticulous designs they are always looking for an original idea for a product design. They have received orders from overseas including large orders from the U.K. and even Australia. They are hoping to expand their business by adding a wider variety of products on their Etsy shop in 2019.
Bueno Designs Instagram
Bueno Designs on Etsy
Bueno Designs Facebook Page
Siren's Java & Tea
What are the most iconic food spots in San Pedro? Listen to me and my cohost, world traveling chef and local foodie, Gio Koletty talk about all things food in San Pedro.
So I knew my friend, Gio Koletty, is a big local foodie. I didn't know that early in his career he spent time in Australia as a chef in the Sydney Opera House. He tells us why he chose food as his career and blames his career as a chef for an incurable itch to travel.
He is passionate about food; creating it, eating it and most of all discovering it. From across the world to his own backyard, Gio is always on the hunt for delicious food. We talk about the role social media plays in discovering food worldwide and locally.
Gio on breakfast in San Pedro :
"Pedro, we're lucky, we're sort of spoiled because we have really good breakfast spots, and a lot of them. And I love that they're more, like, old school breakfast spots. "
We talk about some local food spots that we both love, a few restaurants that we mention: Baramee Thai, Whale and Ale, Nam's Red Door, Pappy's, Rex's Cafe, Lighthouse Cafe, Pacific Diner, San Pedro Cafe, Busy Bees, San Pedro Fish Market and lots more!
Gio and his girlfriend, Wendy, love walking to the local spots and he talks about his favorite place for tacos, imperial rolls, Thai, breakfast and authentic Mexican food.
Gio on what he would like to see more of in the San Pedro food scene:
"If we could, with this waterfront, if we could get a food market that is sort of like, 'Grand-Central-Market-esque' that would be awesome. Where they have everything and anything underneath the sun."
The Food Survey
In the episode, we review the results of the food survey that I put out on the website. We don't go over every question and answer but we go over listener's answers about their favorite casual food spots as well as their opinion on the most iconic San Pedro foods.
The food survey is still open for responses, link below.
Siren's Java & Tea
Did you know there is a local fruit trading scene in San Pedro? In this tenth episode Army Linderborg joins me to tell us about all the amazing fruit that is being grown literally in our backyards.
Army Linderborg is not from here but she's definitely a Pedro Girl now. She's a wife, mom, San Pedro homeowner and a proud fruit picker. Army moved here from Venice after it became overly gentrified and she was priced out of the area. Of course, seeking cheaper home prices on a coast, she landed in our lovely San Pedro.
One of the reasons she bought the home she did was because it had beautiful fruit trees. Since then she's become passionate about sharing and trading fruit with her neighbors and spreading the good vibes through her Air BnB Experience.
Army on what she loved about SP when she first visited :
"It just felt so magical. The port, so much was happening. Seeing San Pedro from the water, it's so beautiful... if you've ever done the Harbor Cruise, I highly recommend it." - Army Linderborg
She shares her personal journey to homeownership here in town and how she fell in love with her fruit trees. During the episode recording she brought me a fruit basket with a variety of fruit grown literally in her and her neighbor's backyard. You'll hear me ooh and aww over the gorgeous exotic fruit she brings me and it doesn't stop there, you'll hear me indulge in the goodness.
Army wants us to go out, meet our neighbors and share fruit amongst each other. She tells us the variety of fruit that grows in San Pedro and her adventures of fruit picking in the local neighborhoods. When I ask about gardening, she explains that she is a gatherer and simply wants us to eat and enjoy the fruit growing in our yards.
Army on her passion:
"I just really feel passionately that we have all these amazing resources and its our duty to maximize them and not let them go to waste. It breaks my heart to see a pile of dead guavas with bugs on them on the ground." - Army Linderborg
We talk about how becoming a mom inspired us to become better human beings and make us want better for our kids, and a sustainable future for our planet.
The foreshadowing of gentrification in San Pedro
In the episode, she shares what it was like to watch Venice gentrify before her eyes and felt the push as she was priced out of the housing market. This makes her a conscious resident and homeowner of the San Pedro community and hopes that we all take tourism into our own hand by offering "experiences" of our own to show tourists our version of San Pedro.
Army was so incredibly inspiring and I hope to follow in some of her footsteps starting with growing fruit in my backyard and working my way up to hosting my very own Air BnB experience.
Army Linderborg on Instagram
Army's AirBNB Experience
Green Girl Farms Facebook Page
Gardening in San Pedro Facebook Group
Siren's Java & Tea
In this episode Amber Sheikh Ginsberg and I have a serious discussion about one of the community's most heated topics: homelessness. She is probably one of the most informed and qualified people in the area I could possibly have this discussion with as she has worked closely with those experiencing homelessness for much of her career.
Amber is an LA based non-profit consultant with Thurlow/Associates and San Pedro Resident of about a decade. Prior to becoming a consultant she worked in homeless services, education and with social justice organizations. She is currently the Vice Chair of the Coastal San Pedro Neighborhood Council's Homelessness Committee and coordinates the CD15 Working Group on Homelessness. She lives with her husband and two young children here in San Pedro.
She, like many others in town, is concerned about the growing homeless population we're seeing in San Pedro. But everyone is concerned for different reasons. Her and I begin our discussion by talking about homelessness as a whole and the general lack of empathy we have toward it as a society.
Amber on people experiencing homelessness in San Pedro :
"In San Pedro itself we have five hundred homeless individuals. Those are five hundred solutions, as well. There's not one blanket solution." - Amber
She describes working on skid row and meeting a woman who looked and dressed just like herself. Assuming she was there to volunteer, she was immediately humbled when she learned that she was there to get lunch. This is just another example of how every individual experiencing homelessness has an individual story of why they are homeless.
Why we need a shelter here in San Pedro:
"There are NO shelter beds in San Pedro for homeless individuals. I feel like repeating that over and over again. There are NO shelter beds for individuals in San Pedro. There's no where to go in San Pedro if you are homeless tonight, tomorrow, next week." - Amber
She shares some eye-opening information about the resources that are available here in San Pedro including the fact that we have zero shelter beds for individuals. Harbor Interfaith only houses families experiencing homelessness, and the number of beds they provide is still low at fifty-eight. She shares that research shows that more than 70% of our homeless are either from San Pedro, have family here or has ties here. They are a part of this community. She wasn't able to provide the number of kids in LAUSD schools that are experiencing homelessness because the number that she had heard was so high that she didn't want to believe it or share it publicly.
After the recording of this episode our councilman Joe Buscaino posted on facebook that the number of kids experiencing homelessness in LAUSD schools is 15,589. He also confirms that the Beacon Street site is suitable for a Bridge Home Shelter.
Councilman's post announcing the Bridge Home
Video on Bridge Home project
Daily Breeze article "Angry Protestors..."
Daily Breeze article "Homeless shelter supporters.."
Siren's Java & Tea
Interview guest, Cindy Bradley, sits down with me to share her history with ballet, her coming-to-San-Pedro story, and how she knew Misty Copeland was destined for greatness from the start.
Cindy and I chat about the podcast and she immediately brings up the "Misty's episode" (Episode 3: Fan-Girling Over Misty Copeland with Megan Barnes). She actually says that Misty loved the episode (!!!) and I basically die. I pull it together and continue with the interview.
Cindy shares her childhood memories of growing up in Georgia during the "hippie time" and discovering ballet for the first time. Her father being in the Air Force caused the family to move around a lot. She saw a lot of the country before arriving in San Diego. Here she suffers a major injury that ends her career in ballet before it really began. This is when she decides to teach ballet and start a punk band.
Cindy on coming to San Pedro for the first time:
"We were driving down the harbor freeway to the end... there were those refineries everywhere... and we were like 'do we really want to live around refineries?' And then we got into it and it just opened up into this beautiful town surrounded by water." - Cindy
She describes San Pedro feeing like home from the very beginning and how her and her band discovered that there was a local punk scene here in town.
Meeting Patrick Bradley
Cindy opens up to me about her health battles with crohn's disease. She is proud of the victories she's won in her health but credits her husband for getting her through the tough times. She shares the story of how they met and how he wooed her with a series of paintings.
Cindy on the man that made her swoon:
"Without him there would be no San Pedro Ballet, there would be no Wolf, there would be no Misty, there would be no anything because there would be no me." - Cindy
Of course, we have to talk about Misty Copeland. She talks about what it was like being her teacher and how she feels as though they were always in sync with each other.
How she describes feeling the first time she knew Misty was a prodigy:
"Immediately it just became the number one goal in my life to make sure that she would become a dancer... I didn't think about it much, it just became my mission." - Cindy
We go on to talk about her talent for picking stars and her newest star that she likes to call her "male Misty", a young high schooler from Narbonne High School named Enrique. We talk about why its difficult to recruit and retain male ballet students and what we believe to be a toxic belief that society has about masculinity. Lastly, she proudly announces that the ballet school is celebrating 25 years and is very excited about the upcoming local performances of The Nutcracker.
After the recording of this episode Cindy attended the premiere of "The Nutcracker & The Four Realms" with Misty Copeland and she also appeared in a piece in People Magazine with Misty, the article is titled "Misty Opens Up About the Teacher Who Changed Her Life: 'She Took A Huge Leap'".
Tickets to The Nutcracker at the Warner Grand
Article in People Magazine
Preview of The Nutcracker & The Four Realms
Siren's Java & Tea
Interview guests Ryan Hart and Michael Ortiz share with me their hope for the San Pedro High School Boys soccer team as they take on their first year as Co-Coaches.
Michael and Ryan have both grown up together in San Pedro and even attended the same schools since Jr. High. Michael grew up on a military base off of 25th Street and surprisingly never left during his primary school years. He later joined the military himself and is now living with his wife at Fort Macarthur here in San Pedro. Ryan shared how their group of friends always kind of prepared themselves for Michael's eventual move but it never happened.
How Michael's military background influences his coaching style:
"It improved me. It helped me understand the importance of having a structure... When I say something at practice, that we're going to do it, we need to do it. " - Michael Ortiz
Michael's wife was present for the interview and I put them on the spot a little by asking what it was like for him to marry his high school sweet heart, something he mentions being really proud of. He shares how he was heavily involved with sports growing up and was a natural athlete early on, often putting minimum effort into his academics just to ensure he had his spot on the team. Michael went to Pedro high and made the soccer team every year.
Ryan's experience of growing up in San Pedro:
Ryan describes himself as a "late bloomer", not figuring himself out until way later in his high school years. He didn't make the soccer team at Pedro until his senior year, which he feels puts himself in a unique position to inspire kids to don't make the cut the first time, because he didn't either. He went on to get his business degree from the University of Michigan and now lives locally in Redondo Beach.
What their doing to invest in the players that don't make the team:
"We're reaching out to all the parents and inviting their kids to, what we're calling a 'coaching clinic' and so all the kids that didn't make the team will probably just stay after practice one day... it's helpful to them, its helpful to us because when they come back next year they'll be better and that's in the best interest of everybody ."
Not only do they invest in the players that don't make the team but they also make sure that the players on the team that struggle with keeping their grades up, get the help they need. They've partnered with the local Boys and Girls Club to create a space for players that need extra help with their academics.
Why their roles are important:
To understand why their roles as the current co-coaches for the SPHS boys soccer team are so important you have to understand the role and reputation of former SPHS boys soccer coach of eight years, Pete Hazdovac. From how Ryan and Michael describe him, he was not only an amazing coach that invested in his players but also a community leader. He with the help of Ryan and Michael, led the boys to victory last year as they won the Division 4 City Title. Now, the coaches are not only trying to build upon that success but also hope to carry on Pete's legacy.
SPHS Boys Soccer Merch Promotion
Siren's Java & Tea
Interview guest, Mike Real, tells me about his upbringing in the Rancho San Pedro Projects and how growing up around gang violence motivated to spread positivity through his music. Mike Real is a native San Pedran, his mom being from San Pedro and his father from Wilmington, grew up with family from both areas. He shares his personal story and what it was like to grow up in the San Pedro projects. His family was heavily involved with gangs in both San Pedro and Wilmington and he remembers not repping either because he never really knew which one he was "supposed" to be a part of.
He had witnessed as a child a family member getting shot and killed just outside their home and recalls his grandmother's warning to him and his cousins if they ever heard shots fired.
He goes on to share that he comes from a family of gang members from both San Pedro and Wilmington, and how everything he saw growing up really motivated him to start something positive.
Using his music to make a difference:
Mike is a rapper using his upbringing to shed light on the hard-hitting issues that really affect the communities he grew up in. He doesn't shy away from difficult conversations about homelessness, ignorance, poverty and gang violence.
We talk about his hope for his music and that is that he will help bridge the gap between our two local towns and the lower income communities with communities that aren't exposed to the same issues . He wants to be a voice for those who can't share their stories, which is why he often sits down with homeless people to ask them about themselves.
Mike's hope for San Pedro
He has high hopes for San Pedro and wants to see it live up to it's full potential. He is excited about the redevelopment of the waterfront and wants to see it beautiful. However, he goes on to share his mixed emotions about the redevelopment of the Rancho San Pedro Projects. We discuss gentrification, and the specific plans for the local projects and we end on a hopeful note, talking about how the city plans for very little to no displacement of the families currently living in the Rancho San Pedro community.
His Song: "A Beautiful Struggle"
Facebook: Michael Avila
Youtube - Michael Avila
Co-host Marissa and I talk about what its like to miss San Pedro. She, living on the east coast now, describes the details of her hometown that she misses most and what it's like being so far from home.
Marissa Haney, my life-long best friend, was born and raised in San Pedro and moved away when she first went to study at the Culinary Institute of America in New York. There she met her husband and together they live on the East Coast in the suburbs of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She doesn't miss California's boring sunny weather but she does miss being able to drive down the street to spend time at the beach. She describes being younger and knowing in her spirit that she wasn't going to stay in San Pedro forever and I talk about being young and knowing I'll never leave. We discuss that many people from San Pedro usually identify with one or the other. We discuss our memories of Ports O' Call. I fill her in on what's new in San Pedro. For some reason I felt it was necessary to update her on all the Starbucks' in town as well as the grocery stores. Our conversation is very fluid and we get off topic a little but for anyone who's interested in San Pedro it should be entertaining.
We also go over San Pedro themed costume ideas for Halloween. Suggestions were sent in via Instagram and we talk about each one of them.
She feels that not a lot of people know where San Pedro is, and she hopes that the town will get more exposure. The changes are exciting but only if people know about it to enjoy it.
Siren's Java & Tea
In the intro I make a PSA reminder to register to vote if you haven't already. Oct. 22nd is the last day to register to vote (link below).
Julie and I sat down with our Siren's coffee in her former art studio, her artwork still hanging on the walls. She and I first talked about her initial impressions of San Pedro when she moved here over thirty years ago with her husband, then what it was like becoming one of LA's first fire women. We talk about the challenges she faced early on in her career and the challenges she would face as a woman, such as doubting herself when she went through hardships even though her fellow male fire firefighters were going through the same hardships, and not getting the help she needed when she was learning. She also had to deal with false rumors about her spreading through the rumor mill.
She credits the Girl Scouts of America for exposing her to the mosaic art form that she's fallen in love with and has since created multiple public large scale murals in the San Pedro area. Often tagged with graffiti, Julie took it upon herself to make the large retaining wall on 25th Street a work of art, in hopes of creating a more beautiful and impressionable drive from Palos Verdes to San Pedro. She spoke to the homeowners that line up against the wall and they all gave the "OK". Julie believes that San Pedro is wonderful town made up of artistic, hardworking good people. She hopes that more locals will buy art from local artists and spend more money in our local economy.
Megan and I are huge fans of Misty Copeland but Megan knew of her before she was a ballerina and later she had the privilege of actually interviewing her a couple times at the top of her career as a dancer. Together we discuss her first time trying ballet in our humble Boys & Girls Club and her first two years of training at our local ballet school. We discuss her time with her first ballet teachers, the Bradleys, as a child prodigy and her upbringing in San Pedro. Her schooling took place in our local elementary, middle and high schools, and she performed in local performances of the Nutcracker in our Warner Grand Theater.
Megan and I discuss the multiple points along Misty's career where her journey as a dancer might've ended; one of them being that her impeccable dancing ability and potential may have never been spotted by the right people, once as she faced drama between her ballet training and her personal life that forced her to take extreme measures. She also experienced a brief eating disorder due to poor body-image, and another time where her career was almost certainly doomed because she performed a major show in excruciating pain. Nothing has been able to stop Misty's tenacity and grace.
Misty has caught the attention of the world dancing for major artists at their concerts, getting sponsored by one of the US's major athletic apparel companies, as well as appearing in a music video for one of hip hop's biggest artists. She also served a national role appointed to her by former President of the United States. Misty has gone on to break barriers in the African-American community as the first woman of color to make it so far as a ballerina at the most prestigious ballet company, preforming coveted roles in major productions. She has broken mold for women in ballet as she did not have the ideal "ballet body" and is setting the example for women of all shapes, sizes and backgrounds to follow their dreams.
Under Armour Campaign "I Will What I Want"
Drake's "Nice For What"
Barack Obama & Misty Copeland
Siren's Java & Tea
In this episode we talk about growing up as a dancer in San Pedro, how it prepared him for being in a band and where the inspiration came from for their latest single "Robber In A Dress". Wolf grew up as a ballet dancer, dancing in almost every local performance of the Nutcracker since he was a child. His parents, Cindy and Patrick Bradley own the local ballet school and they were also the couple that took in a prodigy dancer who would go on to become a celebrity ballerina. Wolf tells me how his band, The Habits, got air time on KROQ for the first time and the big opportunities that followed. Their single "Calling Me Up" was catchy and got the attention of major companies in the music industry.
YouTube - Robber In A Dress
Siren's Java & Tea
In this introduction episode hear what inspired me to start a local podcast and what makes San Pedro so special with local historian and columnist for San Pedro Today magazine, Angela "Romee" Romero. Romee and I talk about what makes San Pedro so special and what set's it apart from other towns. She tells us a little about San Pedro's history, first as it's own city and when it became Los Angeles. Romee informs us on how we got our name and even gives us some insight on why it may be pronounced as San "Peedro" and not San "Pey-dro". I learn what makes up "the big three" as our demographic and what brought so many immigrants to our tiny town. We learn why San Pedro was so attractive to immigrants and why San Pedrans are big on voting. As we banter we talk about how common it is to run into people we know all over town no matter where we go which is a big characteristic of living in San Pedro.